Political maverick and former talk-show host turned filmmaker Jon Stewart is returning to the director’s chair for the first time since 2014’s “Rosewater” with “Irresistible,” a political satire starring Steve Carell, Chris Cooper, and Rose Byrne. It’s Stewart’s first stab at an outright comedy film, and he also wrote the film. Below, Focus Features has dropped the film’s first trailer ahead of a high-profile summer release date of May 29, 2020 — Memorial Day Weekend.
The film stars Carell as a successful Democratic strategist who, after discovering a video of a retired marine colonel, played by Chris Cooper, pledging support for the rights of his local townsfolk’s undocumented workers, is convinced he’s found a way into the right-wing-skewing Heartland. But he’s soon pitted against Faith (aptly named and played by Rose Byrne), who’s dispatched by the Republicans to challenge Gary (Carell) in a race that spirals out of control and into high-stakes hilarity. The movie also stars Topher Grace, Debra Messing, Natasha Lyonne, Mackenzie Davis, CJ Wilson, and Will Sasso.
Stewart has kept a low profile since leaving “The Daily Show” in 2015, to be succeeded by current host Trevor Noah. “Rosewater” told a ripped-from-the-headlines tale of an Iranian-Canadian journalist, Maziar Bahari (played by Gael García Bernal), who’s detained by Iranian forces and brutally interrogated under the suspicion that he is, in fact, a spy. “Rosewater” lifted from Bahari’s 2011 New York Times-bestselling memoir, “Then They Came For Me.”
Carell was most recently seen in Apple TV+’s “The Morning Show” as a broadcast television personality canceled amid a sexual misconduct scandal, opposite Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon. Byrne, meanwhile, can currently be seen in theaters (though doubtfully for much longer) as the best thing about the comedy misfire “Like a Boss,” which is currently sitting at a cool 21% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Focus’ other upcoming films include the Jane Austen adaptation “Emma,” set for February 21; Eliza Hittman’s “Beach Rats” followup “Never Rarely Sometimes Always,” set for the Sundance Film Festival this week before opening March 13; plus “Promising Young Woman” on April 17, a Sundance-bound satire starring Carey Mulligan as the titular woman scorned.
Watch the trailer for “Irresistible” below.